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an impact. just to bring up somewhat of another point, one of the other criticisms i have heard from liberals is concern that this deal doesn't address the debt ceiling. i think that is a legitimate concern and one that i share. but i have to say, i don't think republicans quite have the leverage on the debt ceiling that maybe they did, you know, two summers ago in the summer of 2011, partly because we've already been down that road. it didn't work out very politically well for republicans. they looked intrasigent, their approval rating went down, why the president won re-election, and also they will be siding for things that are deeply unpopular, holding the country hostage, through the debt, to get cuts like social security benefits and cuts to medicare that are deeply unpopular. so i actually believe the president when he says that he is not going to negotiate,
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period, on the debt ceiling. i actually think that he is willing to draw that tough of a line off not give in there. >> thank you, krystal ball, that wraps up our hour of the coverage of the fiscal cliff negotiations. thank you for joining us, and happy new year to you. msnbc's live coverage continues after this. i am melissa rayburger, and we are continuing our coverage of the capitol hill, an agreement reached with the democrats and republicans to reach the deal. vice president joe biden came to meet with the democrats and try to sell the new deal that would prevent the across-the-board tax increases and spending cuts to a wide range of government programs. we've also learned that president obama personally called harry reid and nancy pelosi to ensure that they are
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on board with this plan. our chuck todd says it is not likely that we would see a deal on that vote before midnight, just on the logistical standpoint the house remains adjourned until tomorrow. mike, what is the latest you're hearing about a possible vote tonight, maybe not before midnight at this point, but sometime during the night? >> yeah, i don't think it will happen before midnight, just too many procedural hoops to jump through, and they haven't even completed writing the bill. vice president joe biden arrived, met with harry reid briefly, and walked into the second floor and into the caucus room where democrats had gathered. joe biden's mention to pitch this deal, to the caucus, one mention, if they're going to bring it up tonight. we talked about the senate and how slow it moves. it can move very fast, when they
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have unanimous consent, in other words, where every senator says it is okay to move forward. that will be the trick. there will be a lot of senators with a lot of things they don't like about this piece of legislation. both on the right and left. they will get this done. one way or another tonight. it will not happen before midnight. as you mention, the house of representatives is not going to do it. so technically, we'll go over the cliff. although tomorrow is also a federal holiday. but as you mentioned, the seeds of further confrontation are sewn in this. because it kicks those cuts, using the phrase we have heard over and over again "down the road," the mandatory cuts, the sequestration, that is when the united states hits the lawful debt ceiling. so there will be a huge fight over that in two months, and essentially what we're doing is we have agreed on the income tax rates. $400,000 for individuals, $450,000 for couples filing
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jointly, below which the tax rates will remain the same. above which they go from 35, currently to 39.6%. however, there are a lot of things that are going to be left now. major spending cuts, any sort of grand bargain is -- we're going to go all through this again in another two months. i might also mention one thing, if the senate does get around to voting sometime tonight or in the wee hours of the morning, then its up to the house of representatives of course, and this is going to be an extremely tough sell. john boehner is not going to get a majority of his caucus in the republican side in the house of representatives. he is going to have to rely on democrats to do this. the question is will he do that, or will he try to amend this bill on the house floor and then send it back to the senate, which essentially is going to put us back to square one. so there are some questions here, whether or not this is going to be the final deal or finally get through congress. but certainly at this point,
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after all the twists and turns we've seen over the last couple of months, but certainly over the last couple of days, with mitch mcconnell, trying to get an agreement with harry reid, it has been apparently successful now. joe biden behind closed door with, at least get it through sometime before dawn tonight, and let the house come in and wrestle with it on new year's day, melissa. >> well, as we speak, the vice president is there trying to speak to his own troops, if you will, who may be holding out their votes up for this deal. he has been with them for how long now, and is there any sort of word that you're hearing at all about how it is going? >> well, we haven't heard anything because all the senators, as far as i know have not come out of that meeting. he got up here about 50 minutes ago. he is meeting with those senators now. the $250,000 threshhold that was
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set forth by the president that the president campaign ed on. many on the left are disappointed that he has given in to a certain extent and allowed that to rise by $200,000 to $450,000. there are going to be some problems there, one that might help the feelings on the left is the extension of the unemployment benefits for a year. there are 2 million individuals who stood to lose their benefits over the course -- well, actually tomorrow if this deal had not gone through. i mean, there are odds and ends, provisions on something called the state tax, estate tax, death tax or t-- other tax provisions something that ensnares the middle class taxpayers, it is an old law, some three decades old. that will be taken off the
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books, as well. there are medicare payments to doctors that are going to be reinstated every year. this is sort of a ritual that we go through every year. more things for people to dislike, there are going to be things where people are really going to have to hold their nose if they are going to pull the lever, and vote yes on this legislation and avoid having something catastrophic happen down the road here in terms of taxes, and in terms of what would happen to the larger economy, melissa. >> judging from what you just said it almost sounds like there is a likelihood possibly that it wouldn't pass in the house, is that your feeling? >> i wouldn't call it a likelihood, or a probability at this point. i think it is guaranteed there are going to be conservatives who are extremely upset about that. as a matter of fact over the course of the day, as the details have emerged, conservative forces on the web,
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elsewhere are starting to marshal opposition to this bill. you know, john boehner is going to have to take a big chance. the strategy all along, frankly on the part of the white house, and certain leaders in the senate was to simply box him in. remember, it was a week ago when john boehner put that bill on the floor, his so-called plan b, more than a week ago to raise taxes only on those individuals making more than a million dollars a year. obviously, that crashed and burned. and so the question if he couldn't get that through his gop caucus here in the house of representatives how on earth is he going to do something that sets that threshhold even lower? so really, the threshhold question, is john boehner as the republican speaker of the house going to allow a bill to pass of this magnitude with primarily democratic support? and i think that is an open question at this point. but the strategy all along was to sort of box him in.
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and have the senate -- you know, they get 70 senators on this point, it is bipartisans, democrats and republicans alike, then john boehner will have to go to his people and say look, we'll live to fight another day. i know this is something you oppose very strongly with every fiber of your being, but we're going to have back in two months. one senator called it the mini-cliff, the big cliff, if you can believe it. now, with america hitting its legal debt ceiling and some of the mandatory spending cuts, that they're kicking that can down the road are going to come together in a confluence at that point. >> all right, thank you, kristen welker joins us now, what you hearing? >> reporter: well, i can tell you, sources say that president obama is waiting to hear what happens in that meeting, that the vice president is happening
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right now with the democratic leaders. he has monitored the negotiations all night long. he has reached out to majority leader reid, and nancy pelosi, to sign off. they gave it. so the white house right now feeling quite confident about this agreement that has been reached. of course, we're talking about the opposition that has been emerging from the left, including labor leaders, he says it is not good enough, why? because the tax rates are not the ones that president obama campaigned on. remember the president campaigned saying that he wanted to see taxes going up on those making $250,000 or more. this of course raises taxes on people making $400,000 or more, if you're single, $450,000 for a couple. so folks on the left saying this is not good enough. but the white house, mitch mcconnell, vice president joe biden believes it is a good deal
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because it represents compromise on all sides. i also spoke to one of my democratic sources who said look, if you look at the way the sequester has worked out, yes, it has only staved off for two months. however, they are off setting the cuts both through revenue as well as spending cuts. the reason democrats believe it is significant is because when they revisit this issue in two months they will set a precedent through revenues, as well as spending cuts. this is something democrats have not won on, in a long time this idea of new revenues. so they believe this sets a new, important precedent as they move forward. now as we reported all night long, vice president joe biden really inserted himself into these negotiations and presented a key role saturday since mitch mcconnell reached out to him. he has really moved to push the ball forward, somebody who has
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worked alongside mitch mcconnell for over two decades. so he knows how these negotiations work and knows how to move the ball forward. and he also has a very good working relationship with mitch mcconnell. and president obama has been working, also launching a public campaign to get the public to help him pressure congress to move the ball forward. he has been doing it the past few weeks, doing it this weekend when he granted an exclusive interview to david gregory on "meet the press." he essentially made the point that if we go over the fiscal cliff, average americans will be harmed. their taxes will go up by about $2,000. so president obama at this hour waiting to see what comes out of the meeting with vice president joe biden and democrats. he and the white house feel confident moving forward with this deal, they believe it is a good deal and believe it has a strong chance of passing the senate. and then ultimately through the
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house, melissa? >> do you think there is a chance we may actually hear from the president tonight? >> reporter: i think that is unlikely as this hour. i also think it is unlikely before both chambers take a vote. i think that what is more realistic, and we have not gotten any guidance, the white house not weighing in on this, at all. but i think if we had to guess i would say we would probably hear from him tomorrow as opposed to tonight. it is getting late. and of course the talks are ongoing. and there is a lot of process that has to unfold before folks go to bed tonight. so i think that the more likely scenario, if it moves through both chambers, will be tomorrow if it actually does. >> kristen welker, and we have lots more, and what appears to be a last-minute breakthrough when we come back, you're watching msnbc, the place for politics. big time taste should fit in a little time cup.
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to stick around tonight to have a vote if we can get there. here is what we know about the potential deal as of now. current bush tax deals will expire for those with incomes over $400,000, and for couples with incomes over $450,000. unemployment deals will be extended. the cuts could hit a wide range of government programs including the department of defense will be delayed for a two-month period and will be paid for with a 50/50 split of tax increases and spending cuts. joining us now is "msnbc" policy and analyst expert. ezra klein. >> reporter: i am impressed they actually came to a deal. the big change, we knew earlier they were going to set the bush tax threshold to $450,000.
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the bill deal tonight, they reached the deal to avert the so-called sequester, the spending cuts to begin in the first of the year. they reached that deal for two months. and what is important about that deal, it relies on tax increases and spending cuts. the tax increase is a little bit complicated and dodgy, regarding the roth ira accounts. it puts together the principle that after the deal further changes, needs to be half on the tax side and half on the spending side. what that holds open to them, going forward, when we have the sort of inevitable deal over medicare, possibly social security, and to raise the debt ceiling, democrats want to be very sure that that is going to be again, half tax side, mostly revenues coming through tax reform and half spending cuts. so that they're not giving up what the tax revenue could be
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from the fiscal cliff, in order to just let the republicans take a big chunk out of social security and medicare and without having to compromise further. >> what do you think about the fact that the house left for the night and will be back at noon tomorrow? but the senate really decided to stick this out. whether they vote or not, they're writing the bill right now. what was their incentive to stick around and try to hammer this thing tonight? >> well, for one thing, when they actually finish it tonight, they can leave. i think there is a desire, certainly among vice president joe biden and minority leader mcconnell and majority leader reid, to show they can do this. in this area, there is a center of leading, the senate likes that they can actually get it done. if they can get it done tonight on the eve of of the fiscal cliff, they can actually say they were able to get it done
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before we went over the cliff. that they were not so deeply, deeply irresponsible that they actually let us go over the cliff, to hammer a deal out. sometimes the congress likes to make a show of working very hard at the last minute, like a college student, who procrastinated, and then finally got the paper done. this is an embarrassing show of how we legislate in this country, but they are showing that it can be responsible, get this deal done, and go home. >> in what way can you describe the tone that this has taken, primarily this evening, as of yesterday it was this big blame game going on with fingering pointing. and really over the past couple of weeks it has been a roller costar. one day, all of this bipartisan spirit, the other day there is not. how do you think this whole thing is ending up as we stand
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here tonight. >> it is always a good policy in washington to assume that cooperation leads to compromise. oftentimes it is not, oftentimes what leads to compromise is the bare knuckle political war fare, or in this case, a dead lock, we can argue a little bit of both. a lot of these folks don't like each other. the relationship between the senate and the white house, and others in both the house and senate is very poor. the relationship, luckily, i guess, arguably, between joe biden and mitch mcconnell in the senate, is very good. they don't always get credit for it. joe biden has gone in many times and saved deals that we very much wanted. this was also the story with the 2010 tax deal, which again, was something of a last minute -- last-minute decision. so there is a lot of anger and a lot of bitterness and a lot of
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frustration. but i think those are oftentimes, we see them as overly predictive of the outcome, of what tends to be more predictive of the outcome, not how nicely the two sides are talking but how close we are to a deadline. you heard from president obama, that it didn't seem to matter. the obsession, getting a deal at the very last minute. others kept saying well, you just watch, i know it looks bad now but if you wait until the stroke of midnight, we'll be there. indeed we are a, but i think th rational people say why is this that we do this at 11:59, and have terrible consequences. >> all right, ezra klein, stand by if you will. let's bring in "huffington post" ryan grim, i know you were just
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over joyed hearing this. but after all of this back and forth for so long, it is coming down literally to midnight. >> sure, and ezra is right. that is exactly when we would have expected it. either right at midnight or -- that is how they get things done. and the reason they do that, is because what they're trying to do is broadly unpopular. people don't support austerity. there is a certain type of industrial sector that like s austerity, but that is about it. so in order to inflict it on the people, so to speak, they have to create these artificial deadlines, saying if we don't hurt you a little bit right now then we'll have to hurt you a lot next week. so let us just cut social security a little bit right here, and then we'll save you a much bigger pain that we don't
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want to inflict on you, but would have to by the design of the fiscal cliff, that oh, by the way, we created a year and a half ago. they actually couldn't get the social security cuts through this time. but republicans have promised and obama will probably be happy to go along with it that in the next few months they're going to you know, take another crack at "entitlement reform." but i think that whether or not this deal ends up being a good one for -- for democrats, depends on whether or not the president holds firm in the commitment he made. that he will refuse to negotiate on the debt ceiling. he is saying forget it. i'm not even going to talk about it. i don't care what you want to give me to raise the debt ceiling, i don't care what you want about the debt ceiling, i'm not going to touch the debt ceiling. now what does that mean? does that mean he is going to pay the debts even if the republicans don't raise the debt ceiling. we don't know, but he has insisted, both in private and
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with his staff in his public statements and in private with others that this is a huge issue to him. he sees it as legacy. that he is not going to leave behind a presidency that can be regularly held hostage by congress that wants to refuse to raise the debt limit. if he stands firm on the debt limit a couple of months from now, then this is a good deal. because democrats got a lot of things they wanted. if he doesn't and caves on that deal, then it is not. >> what do you think about the fact that we have already heard from two groups, the afl-cio and the heritage foundation. they are already reacting to the details of this deal and say they do not approve. what do you think the headlines will be tomorrow? you know, whether its on twitter or wherever, from all the various special interest groups in reaction to this? >> well, the afl is kind of confronting a reality in washington that they don't have
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the power that they used to. and one of the pieces of evidence for that is in the capital gains and the dividends part of this, which was not a big part of the conversation. but a major concession that republicans got was that dividends were going to go up to 39.6% tomorrow. as part of this deal, instead, they will be taxed to 20%. that is a huge cut for the extremely wealthy. and it is only the kind of thing that congress could do if there was no organized labor opposing it. because you have the investment class on one side, and nobody kind of making the case for higher taxes on dividends. so the afl doesn't like thchis. but there is not going to be a lot they can do to stop it. and the dirty secret in congress is that the democrats didn't exactly cave on the 250,000 limit, they sort of pretended to cave. there were scores of democrats on capitol hill that didn't want the tax level to be at 250.
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they're much happier with 400 and 450. steve israel was on your network earlier today. he said as much, it is nice to give it as a concession, but i frankly wanted it to be a higher level. diane feinstein said the same thing, chuck schumer, there is a huge amount of democrats that don't want taxes to kind of rise on this upper middle class that makes between 200 and $400,000, this is the circle they run with. this is not a cave, a kind of fake cave in that sense. >> okay, well, "huffington post" chief, ryan grim, thank you. >> thank you. >> we'll be back on the apparent deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. you are watching "msnbc" the place for politicings milissa e
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. welcome back to "msnbc" coverage of the plan on the fiscal cliff. the nation is scheduled to go off the cliff at midnight, eastern time. the senate bill is being worked on right now. and lawmakers may try to vote on it sometime tonight. the house, meanwhile, is scheduled to remain adjourned until noon tomorrow. house minority leader nancy pelosi released a statement just minutes ago saying in part "when
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a final agreement is reached and passed by the senate i will present it to the house democratic caucus." vice president joe biden who worked for the past hours with senate minority leader mitch mcconnell, worked to reach the deal. for more, i am joined by the vice president's former chief economist and adviser, jared burnstein. >> well, it is nice to be with you, with what sounds like some progress on the hill. >> are there any surprises for you in all of this, and how it is going down? >> well, i was a bit surprised by some of the tax agreements, the threshold, the 450,000, was obviously a lot higher than the president started. that is the idea that the income tax rates will only go up on households above 450 as opposed to 250.
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also, the democrats largely gave the republicans what they wanted on the estate tax, that is pretty much going to stay like it is. the rate is going to go up a bit. but the exemption will still be pretty high. but i expected a last-minute deal and it looks like that is what we got. >> a lot is being said about the role the vice president is playing in all of this, and about his relationship with minority leader mitch mcconnell. and how he was really requested to come in and sort of take the reins here, what do you know about that? >> well, joe biden and mitch mcconnell are older school politicians. they remember a time when compromise was how you close deals like this. and there are a lot of, i guess, mostly younger members up there who don't remember that time. they view their job is to go to washington and create conflict
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and have grid lock. that doesn't mean that their caucuses will certainly be with them. that is no surprise to me that vice president joe biden is talking with them. it is not a slam dunk, i suspect it will, especially if it passes the senate with a significantly bipartisan vote. you have some real deal makers. >> what do you think that this really means in your opinion, to the average american taxpayer? whether, you know, with the threat we may go over the cliff, and now we may really not. what difference did this really, really mean and if you could put it in plain words for us who are not economists, just explain what it means for all of us? >> well, first of all it means that if you're someone who is a beneficiary of long-term unemployment benefits, you're not going to lose your benefits tomorrow. and that is a very big deal for a couple of million people who
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have been stuck in this for a long time. it does mean, by the way, i mean part of this deal is the expiration of the payroll tax break. and so it does mean that paychecks are going to be a bit lighter. because that has been a 2% bump in everybody's paycheck for the last couple of years. so that is something that neither side decided to extend. i mean, some of what you see here is actually stuff you will never see. so for example if you're a middle class family, because this deal is being closed your taxes will go up a couple of thousand when you ultimately fill them out. but that is kind of putting out a fire, and the fire, they don't see that as clearly as some other measures. >> in your opinion, do you feel that you have -- especially coming down to the last minute here and the roller coaster of the dialogue going back and forth, do you feel that there
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has been a little bit of -- i don't know, political grandstanding going on? >> oh, my goodness, are you kidding me? >> i mean there has been 98% hot air and 2% substance. well, it is new year's eve -- >> tell us how you really feel. >> well, we're all celebrating a bit. glad to see there is a deal in the making. but we never should have been here in the first place, we have a highly dysfunctional congress. by the way, this is not the greatest deal i've seen, there are some things i think are useful and good. and lastingly, going to help the country. but there are some aspects that are a bit underoverwhelming. this is a plan that is not really enough to achieve the kind of fiscal sustainability in our deficit that -- one might have hoped out of a deal like this. this deal also does nothing about the debt ceiling. so unfortunately, we'll be back
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in a few months about another deal. on new year's eve, let's kind of put that aside for now. >> well, see you in a couple of months then, economist jared bernstein, thank you so much, happy new years to you. you are watching "msnbc," the place for politics.
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welcome back to our breaking news coverage of the fiscal cliff deal from capitol hill. lawmakers in the white house have reached a tentative deal the avert the across-the-board tax increases, and huge spending cuts regarding the sequester. joining us is the host of "politics nation," the reverend al sharpton. thank you for taking time out of your new year's eve. and i'm sure that this is a subject of great interest to you. >> no, it is a very much -- of a concern to me. and one of the things that i'm very happy about if this deal is voted in, is that people that
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are depending on unemployment insurance will be spared. i think that people must remember that there were hundreds of thousands of people that depend on unemployment insurance, that are looking at this with very deep concern because it comes out of their hide, and many of them are surviving on this. i think it also deals with the students. it deals in eitc. there are things that the conservatives get in terms of the estate tax. but let's not forget those that had to really deal with whether or not they will be able to sustain themselves if we went over the cliff, and there was no solution yet. it is almost like the ham and egg sandwich. some people that would only drop an egg are complaining when the -- the pig that would have lost a leg, is saying well at least i live to run another day.
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so i was extremely concerned about those at the bottom of the economy, that would have been harmed the most if we went over the cliff. and if this bill sticks, millions of them will be spared. >> what is your take on the fact that -- we actually had an interview earlier, they said the democrats, the white house kind of made it look like they were caving when it came to a deal to raise the threshold, to $450,000 for couples a year. there was an argument made earlier on the show that many democrats, that was not a compromise at all. they didn't want the threshold to be $250,000, they wanted it higher. what is your opinion on that? >> well, i think two opinions, one, you can keep from going down up, to top down.
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if john boehner a week ago couldn't get his caucus to agree to a million dollars, then you can count and say well now, we're going down 600,000, or 550,000. so it is according to which way you want to count. do you want to add up to where we started on the liberal side, or do you want to subtract down from the conservative side? the other part i heard you say earlier is a lot about this position and posturing. the fact of the matter is, that we always knew there would be some levels of compromise. the question becomes, can people at the bottom -- people that are making 2 or $300,000 a year have affidav afforded to go over the cliff? when you have cbo's saying if we went over the cliff to a 9.1 unemployment level, and go into a recession people at the bottom would suffer the most.
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so the leaders that are conservative, or liberal can't afford to argue certain things that people that would be most impa impacted really are not in the middle of that argument. they're trying to survive. and still become part of the recovery from all of the bush years. so i think a lot of this is from what vantage point you're arguing from. >> what are your feelings -- we have already heard from the afl-cio, and the heritage foundation, groups coming out against the deal. what do you see as far as pushback from non-government entities? and how much power do they have do they have a place at the table really at all? >> well, i think all of us that are active in various ways outside of government are going to have certain reaction. and some of it is because of our
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ideologycal as well as our public position. and some of it is because they want to take stakes out in future negotiations now that the quest has been pushed back two months. i think that the reality is none of us are going to get everything we like. the real thing that i would challenge leadership in government and out of government is to look at people that are placing unemployment insurance that we almost lost, and still may if we can't get this vote. look at people that are dealing with the facts that they need what we're going to get out of this in terms of students and other things. and tell them, they don't matter. we're going over the cliff because we want to hold some inflexible position. and i think leadership will be tested here on really how far we want to bend or whether or not we want to break people that are the most vulnerable. and i think this is going to be a test. >> reverend al sharpton, thank you so much, and happy new year
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to you. >> happy new year. we will be back in a moment with more on the apparent deal to avert the worst of the fiscal cliff. please stay with us. ♪ [ male announcer ] how could a luminous protein in jellyfish, impact life expectancy in the u.s., real estate in hong kong, and the optics industry in germany? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy. it's just one reason over 75% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment information, risks, fees and expenses to read and consider carefully before investing. i wish my patients could see what i see. ♪ that over time, having high cholesterol and any of these risk factors can put them at increased risk for plaque buildup in their arteries. so it's even more important to lower their cholesterol, and that's why, when diet and exercise alone aren't enough,
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no mon month th mo . welcome back to "msnbc" special coverage, we are tracking breaking news from capitol hill. senate democrats have just come out of a meeting with vice president joe biden on capitol hill. more details on that meeting as they become available. also the white house tells msnbc that a deal has been struck with republicans, time is running out to the senate to vote on a bill tonight, meaning at midnight the nation will actually go over the cliff. at least the house us scheduled to reconvene at noon tomorrow. thank you so much to both of you, whoever feels like starting, what is your reaction? and what do you think the democrats spilling out of the meeting are talking about right now. >> do you want to go for it? >> only if you insist. look, there is a certain -- you know, whether the deal was going to come before you know, january first, just before january first or at this hour, or after
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january first or whether it was going to come a week or two now, sort of the broad contours of this now were pretty clear for what was going to be here in terms of protection, and the expiration of the bush tax cuts, for the vast majority of americans -- how high would that threshold be? you know, dealing with the sequester, not having payroll tax extensions. i think the thing that was discouraging for democrats, the concerned democrats, is that obama allowed the final number on the threshold for the tax increase to go so high. which was throughout the entire campaign, $250,000. when the election ended. the demand for $250,000, as of december, now we're going to end up almost double that. all the leverage he had with the election victory, and ended up doubling, i think was discouraging. what really bothered them was
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there was no debt ceiling, there is no debt ceiling fix in this agreement. and again, that is something that right after the election and well into december obama said he was going to insist on a permanent end to the debt ceiling. that was going to be part of this deal. he insisted on it. he backed off and indicated through the negotiations that he would be okay with a two-year patch. and now it is not even in there at all. it is very clear we'll have a showdown similar to this in about a month when we hit the debt expiration, except in a month, republicans will -- excuse me, democrats and obama will not have the kind of leverage that the automatic expiration that the bush tax cuts gave them. it is a discouragement that they can be em boldened, how they can move president obama, and the
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fact he won the election on the fact he would move the taxes, on 250,000 plus. >> i agree with steve on that, those are the two big numbers, going up from 250 to 400, for singles, 450 for couples, i have to say i personally like this deal more than the other, that included social security benefit cuts. that was not included. and i think the white house may have concluded that a, they didn't have as much leverage going over the cliff as sometimes thought. and that they may have thought at one point. yes, they could, you know, pass a bill extending the tax cuts for those over 250. but republicans could also push a bill with a different place at 500, or at a million, and then pressure democrats to go along with that. so it has been portrayed in some ways. the other thing, with the debt
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ceiling i think maybe republicans don't have quite the leverage there that they have been given, as well. you know, we have been through this debt ceiling fight, i don't think the americans have any patience with it. i actually believe the president when he says i'm not going to negotiate with them on that issue. they are going to be fighting for things that are deeply unpopular, by holding the country hostage, which is deeply unpopular. so i think politically that will be very difficult, a very untenable place for them to be. so democrats definitely didn't get everything they wanted in this deal. you know, it is not the perfect deal from my perspective or from anyone else's. but republicans, if they end up going along with this, they are supporting a tax hike for the first time in a long time. and that is a big move. the fact of the matter is, even though the president won the election and even though voters overwhelmingly supported the fact that taxes should be raised on upper income people, you
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know, the political reality of where the republican caucus is has not changed. you still have republican members of the house who run in far right republican districts and they're not so much concerned about where the center of the country is as where their basie will be, and where the people are going to be voting in the primaries are. they're still willing to hold the country hostage because it makes sense for them politically. and because the dynamics have not changed. so given the political landscape, i think it is an okay deal for democrats right now. >> steve, in about 30 seconds, what are your thoughts on how this will pass in the senate tonight and otherwise? and how it will do in the house? >> yeah, well, i mean these two are not necessarily unconnected. i mean, there is talk of the senate sort of needing to have a real big majority for this, 70-plus votes, not 60-plus votes
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to deliver a message to the house that there is broad support for this, certainly among republicans because of its broad bipartisan support. you know, again, my sense just based on the sort of the negative feeling for democrats, that i gave months from now, again, they backed obama to negotiate on the debt ceiling. he said at the beginning of this that this deal would produce a long-term deal with the debt ceiling. he budged -- >> my apologies, i do have to interrupt you, we have to go to a break. half of the cycle, on msnbc, you are watching live coverage of the fiscal cliff talks on "msnbc." gh. ♪ doing it with a cold, just not going to happen. vicks dayquil -- powerful non-drowsy 6-symptom cold & flu relief. ♪
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The Last Word
MSNBC December 31, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm PST

The Last Word Holiday Party News/Business. (2012) New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Joe Biden 14, Msnbc 12, Us 12, Mitch Mcconnell 9, John Boehner 6, Obama 5, Melissa 3, Harry Reid 3, Washington 3, Nancy Pelosi 3, The Afl-cio 2, Ryan 2, Huffington 2, T. Rowe 2, Reid 2, Kristen Welker 2, Tamiflu 2, Gh 1, Steve Israel 1, Ezra Klein 1
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